EA Introduces Director of Accessibility, Team Has Been Moved to a Central Position

Ben Bayliss2 minute read

EA has been doing a fair job at providing its players with an accessible experience, be that through the subtitles in Jedi: Fallen Order or the on-screen elements in Star Wars Squadrons. Karen Steven’s announced yesterday that they are no longer the Accessibility Lead for EA Sports, but instead, they are now the Director of Accessibility for all of EA.

Having previously worked at Microsoft as a Software Developer in 2005, after 8 years, Karen moved to EA starting out as a Software Engineer for 4 years, then in 2017, jumped into being the Accessibility Lead for EA Sports titles.

Karen announced on Twitter about their new role and also details that the entire accessibility team has now been moved to a central position within the company. This shift means that the team should be able to help support more projects and teams.

The accessibility team has seen games such as FIFA, Madden, and more come with features that make them more accessible for disabled players. There’s also the introduction of EA’s accessibility portal, a website that provides news about accessibility in its games, and resources for released games so players can learn what’s included.

The website also allows players to reach out to the team with concerns and bugs. Those who do so can help the team to look into fixing issues, perhaps even introducing new features to help them and others enjoy a game to their preferences.

Karen was also present at this year’s Games Accessibility Conference 2020 talking about accessibility and how they created a business unit at EA dedicated to game accessibility development. This talk was alongside Brannon Zahand from Xbox, Ameliane Chiasson from Square Enix, and David Tisserand from Ubisoft who have also been doing the same thing.

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Ben is the one in charge of keeping the content cogs at Can I Play That? turning. Deafness means that he has a focus on discussing captions, but with experience in consultancy and advocacy, he covers what bases he can. Having written about accessibility in video games at DualShockers, GamesRadar+, GamesIndustry.biz, Wireframe, and more he continues his advocacy at CIPT. He was actually awarded a Good Games Writing award for an article he wrote here! He enjoys a range of games, but anything that’s open-world and with a photo mode will probably be his cup of tea. You can get in touch with him at: ben@caniplaythat.com

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